I showed up at the hospital at 7 am Wednesday morning as directed.  Lady at the counter looked perplexed and asked me who told me to come there.  LOL!

Got in, changed, and IV started without a lot of digging, hallelujah!  #miraclesdohappen

The lidocaine worked, I could feel the injections of radioactive schnitzel, but felt no actual pain.  Guy with the radioactive stuff showed up with a small locked metal box, brought out the syringe for Dr Pathologist, then immediately locked back up and went away.  They inject blisters of radioactive stuff right under the skin 4 or 5 times.

Then it was time to hurry up and wait a while while my body took those toxins to the lymph nodes – exactly as designed. #grateful

During that wait we listened to the Seed and Soil project (YouTube playlist found here) those songs moved and encouraged me. I looked around for Jesus and found him at my right shoulder. What a blessing!

Then Dr Anesthesia came and asked all the questions and asked if we would like him to pray for us… which he did. Then when he realized we were people of faith, the dear man began Theo-babble complete with chapter and verse references. And when he discovered I was a seminary student he listed off a bunch of dead white guy theologians he had read. I told him to look up some Howard Thurman, his cute little Baptist self would love that. LMBO. He kept coming back between patients to talk some more, which was hilarious. He wanted me to tell him what systematic theology textbooks to read that I know from class, instead I told him about my favorite narrative theology book called “In The Shelter: Finding a Home in the World” written by an Irish poet Pedraig O’Tuama that absolutely moves me every time I pick it up with the pure aching beauty of his theological prose. If he were to read that book, it would rock his world. LOL! I may have enjoyed that a bit more than was warranted.

A lovely woman showed up to get me unhooked enough I could go for one last bathroom visit. Turns out she won her wedding cake in a raffle, and my Mom was the one who made it. She said to say “hi” from a Beldor friend who loves my Dad. And she didn’t disappoint- she told me she remembered me when I was “this tall” which is what all the Beldorians say.

Chatting along with the lovely people showing up in the room…

Next thing I know I’m waking through the fog and there are disembodied voices all around and hands touching me out of the darkness. They went and grabbed my Austrian post haste and fading in and out somehow I drank some water and ate some applesauce, pulled some EKG stickers off and put on clothing and somehow magically napped my way home.

My Austrian scooted out to fill the prescriptions while I face planted in the pillows for more napping, no concept of pain whatsoever!

They took out two lymph nodes (the size of kidney beans), the pathologist sliced them super thin looking for visible cancer and found none.  I just read the report and it calls both of them “grossly unremarkable” and that’s good news! They will also check them under a microscope and we will get those results in a few days.  So far that news is very good, but if some ugly cells show up then it’s still fine.  Chemo is a system-wide treatment, so any naughty buggers will be fried.  

I also have the chemo port under the skin with incisions where she guided the cord up and over the collar bone and into the vein of blood going into the heart. Today the numbing medication is wearing off and I’m beginning to feel the weight of that thing pulling on my collar bone – but it is not painful thanks to the Ibuprofen.

Lymph node surgery was in the opposite arm pit. Orange skin sanitizer stain abounds. Still had some EK stickers to pull off. The IV sticker on my right hand came off with no bruising and no blood – that nurse was brilliant!!

I’ve been up and around, ate a little, drank a little.  Very happy to have good meds, then back to bed.

Somewhere in there we decided we needed to make up the etymology of the word “lymph”. I decided it was because Dr Kraus Lymph discovered the little buggas, he was German – obviously. X decided that he was also a man with a lisp who also walked with a limp, and demonstrated how that would look for our enjoyment – but it turned out to be more of a limp-foot-drag for added effect. So there you have it. We have solved the riddle. It may seem anticlimactic to go consult Ms Google now.

I’ve never had an outpatient surgery that was actually in and out the same day, so our Dr Anesthesia did a great job. #soblessed Of course I was barely awake I was when the cute guy with the wheelchair showed up, but it hardly matters. I was happy to be out of there!

All that to say, the news is good, and somehow given an hour of knife work I am still actually pretty comfortable.

Nap time.

So grateful for so many answered prayers!! Thank each of you so much! #gratitude

Sending love to each of you cool people!

6 responses to “Grossly Unremarkable”

  1. Ginny Avatar

    I’m glad to read that you are resting, that is when your body heals. I love the names you have for your health pros and the way you refer t them. You are a bright light in this new world you have been tossed into.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cindy Avatar

    Wonderful news!


  3. Rachel Miller Avatar

    Unfortunately, it takes a poison to fight a poison, which is what cancer is. You are doing a lot of processing. Most patients refuse to think about it and just go with the flow. They cannot handle the stress of knowing and your stress decreases by knowing it all. As a nurse, I mutter all through your posts. Ha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carmen Shenk Avatar

      Is that what it is? They’re used to people who don’t ask questions? I ask ALL the questions and wonder why they’re looking at me like that. I literally heard them outside the door say “is that how this day is going to go?” I think a lot of people do blind obedience to health care professionals (and church leaders, political leaders, institution leaders) and I look around and see that too much blind obedience has not really not helped us get anywhere we wanted to be, so I’m not inclined to go there. It’s just all very interesting!


      1. Rachel Miller Avatar

        The biggest problem is that insurance does not pay for time spent answering questions of patients. Not when RN’s and Nurse Practitioners get paid per billing functions versus answering questions. Few nurses are trained to work on an emotional level with patients and are in fear of having questions they cannot answer. I went to hospice soon after oncology and came back to oncology after 24 years of working in an area where emotional, spiritual and psychological support was mandated, where we were expected to visit a lot. I attended many workshops by E.Kubler-Ross and other hospice and oncology experts who insisted that we understand what is happening on every level to our patients and I came to NY where there was NO training for oncology nurses other then the meds etc.

        Plus, the last few others are census has been so high for each other that there is so little time to visit with a patient and if we do, we use our time to catch up with all the massive amount of charting we have to do. I was scolded by a radiologist when I was talking English to a Chinese patient about radiation burns. He trashed me in front of all the staff how I was reckless to not use the interpreter line. I told him I knew her well from chemo and she understands English remarkably well. He was livid that I had the nerve to say that. He wanted to write me up. I did have to rewrite my nursing note. OMG!

        Now, things are worse than ever with patient ratio for nurses. I am so glad I am retired. No one will tell you shit if. you don’t ask!!

        Are you stage 2? If your lymph nodes are unremarkable and free. you are miles ahead of many!! It’s the size of a quarter? What kind is it? Is it hormone fed?

        The chemo will not be fun. The hair loss is a killer for someone who loves her hair the way you do and spends time coloring it and nourishing it. You can rant and rave. It is traumatic. Women have been taught that our identity is tired to it. It’s a covering and all that. If yours is straight now it may come back curly.

        Interestingly, I always thought I would get cancer young, so many do. That I am 73 and have no sign of cancer at this age amazes me to no end. I never fantasized about growing old, having grandchildren etc. I was going to be happy if I lived long enough to see my kids grow into college age. I’m extremely pragmatic about life in general. I’ve had a living will and my funeral plans written since before I had kids. Kubler Ross made us do hat and I taught classes on Death and Dying many times at our church during my 30’s and 40’s.

        At any rate, this is your journey and only yours. No one can walk it for you, so you can damn well ask any question you have, but, yes, you will make staff weary. As you wrote, that is their problem,, not yours. I think the fact that we both are walked away from traditional women’s roles in the Menno church is a clue we will walk our own journey’s and we will not go quietly into the night, or chemo chair!!


  4. Kendra Gehman Avatar
    Kendra Gehman

    I was never so happy to read the words grossly unremarkable! It is very spirit boosting even if they would have later been fried. I loved mental picture of X acting out the lisping, limping scientist. I love that you were at peace all day!!!! I am put off by the thought that you can feel your port line over the collar bone. 😲 I’m missing some bullet points, but I’m beyond grateful that you have today in the past, but you saw and experienced all of the lovely stories. This must feel “grossly familiar” to X. How is he hanging? Much love.

    Liked by 1 person

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